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Volunteer Spotlight: Rachelle Namak

by Katie R - 0 Comment(s)

Rachelle is a recently-retired Calgary Public Library staff member and is one of Calgary Public Library’s wonderful volunteers! Rachelle volunteers with “Conversations in English”, helping develop the speaking skills of a library staff members on a one-on-one, volunteer-to-staff basis. Rachelle was instrumental in the creation of the program and has been an amazing advocate since the first matches began in December 2013!

Rachelle’s experience as an educator coupled with her warm personality and wonderful sense of humour make her an ideal candidate to bring out the best in her matches. She uses a wide variety of techniques to get her matches talking, helping them become comfortable in every topic under the sun, from work to movies to everyday life in Calgary. Rachelle has gone above and beyond the call of duty, taking on several matches at two different libraries!

One of Rachelle’s matches has this to say: "Rachelle has helped my English since January this year. She is very smart and patient. I brought up the topics to discuss each time. Talk to her seems to talk to an old friend. She is very kind person and generous. She encourages me to learn from my mistakes. I am so happy to be her student and her friend as well."

Says another of Rachelle’s matches: Rachelle is a very nice lady. She is always positive and enthusiastic, and a true friend. I have learned a lot from her. She has taught me far more than English in our sessions. Every time after our meeting, I have become more confident in my social skills which has helped me integrate into Canadian society. I am so thankful to her not only as my English tutor, but as my liaison to Canadian society. I really appreciate all the time and support she gives to me. Thank you, Rachelle."

Rachelle has proven time and time again her commitment to English language learners, and her impact on the lives of those she works with is so important.

Thank you Rachelle for everything you do!

Kayci graduates from the TD Read With Me program

by Katie R - 4 Comment(s)

“It’s helped me a lot in reading. It’s made me more confident reading in front of people and my reading comprehension is way, way better. I also have the joy of reading now, whereas when I was younger, it was something I had to be forced to do. Now, I can read anything I want, without having to struggle. I feel comfortable with Cheryl. She’s not just a tutor- she’s a friend now too. She’s fun, has good humour, and she puts up with a lot (well, me Smile). She’s patient and will help me through mistakes, and in learning new words.”

Strong, positive (and humourous) feedback offered by Kayci, who’s been working with her volunteer, Cheryl Gibeault, in the TD Read With Me program at Calgary Public Library since March 2009. They currently comprise the longest-standing match in the program. For five years, the pair have met for an hour a week at their community Library, to read together and build Kayci’s literacy skills. Kayci graduated from the program at the end of June 2014.

That’s bittersweet for Kayci’s parents, Corri-Lynn and Brad, who are sad the program doesn’t continue beyond Gr. 6: “This program has been such a blessing and so helpful for our kids. They’ve benefited from good mentorship, found a love of reading, and there’s a genuine connection that forms between the volunteer and child. It’s just been a positive experience for our family.”

Cheryl emphasizes that the benefits flow both ways: “I’ve loved working with Kayci. What’s not to love about her? She’s a sweetheart! We’ve had laughs, and it’s really rewarding to see ‘the light bulb go on’. She’s super-cooperative, and Brad and Corri-Lynn have been very supportive. One-on-one is the ideal teaching situation, in that you can work at the pace of the student.”

Congratulations, Kayci, on all your hard work, over so many years! And thank you, Cheryl, for your commitment and dedication in volunteering with such competence for so long for Calgary Public Library!

Check out Freegal

by Stephen - 0 Comment(s)

Freegal

This week the Calgary Public Library went live with Freegal, a digital music provider which allows patrons to access three hours of streaming music every day and download three free songs every week (resets Sundays at Midnight). The great thing about the download option is that you get to keep the songs!

The music collection is amazing, with about 7 million songs from 28,000 labels which includes same-day as street-date releases for new artists as well as classic content in over 100 genres. So whether you’re a big fan of Soul, Salsa, Swing, Schlager… or Sound Effect…? Freegal has you covered!

If you’re in a country mood for some reason this week, Freegal offers classics such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and even Johnny Cash singing Hank Williams. Also available are Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, and one of my personal favourites, Canadian alt-country act, The Sadies.

To get started with Freegal check out our how-to page and enjoy!